Tuesday, June 3, 2008

1st Peter 1

When I got to this book, I was amazed at what God showed to me. Many of the verses made me look at my own life in a critical way.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:6-9
This little section reminds me of Paul. I wanted to add an exclamation mark at the very end. Believing in God allows us to receive the goal of our faith. Because of our belief we are different. Deep inside each Christian is a fount of inexpressible and glorious joy that God has given us. If we live daily in his will, then that cup will never empty.

I don't know about you, but I find myself getting in the way of God's gift. I don't talk daily with Him or I ignore his word. Every time I do that, I block out some of the joy that he gives. Only when I repent and restore my relationship with Him, do I feel that joy come again.

Now that does not mean that I will always be happy. Emotions will still happen, but my peace and joy come only from God.

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; to be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance."
1 Peter 13-14

When I first became a believer, the hardest thing that I had to do was turn away from my old life. For a while I was doing great, but then some of the same issues came back upon me with a vengeance. I managed to succeed in resisting some temptations, but to others I succumbed.

My problem was twofold. First, I was not prepared for action. I did not have support to fight against the temptations and I had a hard time trusting people with that portion of my life. Second, I had no self-control in certain areas. Thankfully, God used my mentor to patiently teach me about his word and commands for my life. She prayed for me and encouraged me to pray and study God's word. With the new teachings and prayer, I began to be convicted about my behaviour. God then gave me the strength to control my mind in regards to the temptations and eventually stand up to them.

The second portion of the verse tells me that I need to be like an obedient child. I see my kids and can tell you that that verse is self explanatory. Each day, I work to guide them down the right path. I educate them to know the right path. Once they have this knowledge, I expect them to avoid the doing the wrong things. This is true of our walk as a Christian. God has given us the knowledge. As we grow in him, he expects us to turn away from our ignorant ways and walk the narrow, right path.

"...for it is written, "Be holy, because I am holy." Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear."
1 Peter 1:16-17

When I first read this, my initial thought was THIS SUCKS! I know, it's not very "christian like". But, this is reality. God wants me to be holy. Satan was right there whispering a list of all the areas that I fail in. On top of that, God calls us to live as strangers here. So be holy and see MY home as temporary.

Yes, my home here is temporary. But seeing it written so plainly made me realize that many days I see Earth as my permanent residence. I forget to live a holy life and make myself right at home. I'm so busy living for me that I fail to look up and see that this is just a poor imitation of my final destination. While I'm here, I'm expected to do everything I can for God's kingdom. Some days may suck and it can be a lot of work to be holy. But even on the hard days, we've been blessed with peace in Him.

In addition to that, Jesus experienced a brutal death to save me. Can't I spend my years living for Him?

"But the word of the Lord stands forever."
1 Peter 1:25

When I read that, it was so reassuring. I felt safe and loved. The Lord stands forever. After reading that, I feel like shouting "Can I get an Amen?"

Feel free to add your thoughts. I'm pulled to this book for the time being so I'm sure I'll post some more.

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